ATHENS, Ga- The no. 1 Georgia Bulldogs score 26 straight to take a 26-3 lead into halftime against the Missouri Tigers in front of a home crowd and ESPN audience.
Quarterback Stetson Bennett finished the half 11-of-17 passing for 232 yards and a touchdown. James Cook led the way on the ground for the Bulldogs rushing for 41 yards and a touchdown on just 9 carries. Zamir White also added a touchdown on the ground. Jermaine Burton finished the half with 64 receiving yards on just 2 catches. Arian Smith contributed a touchdown through the air in just his first game back from injury since UAB.
Safety Lewis Cine led all Bulldogs in tackles with 4 at the half as the Georgia defense was able to hold the SEC leading rusher to just 41 rushing yards at the half.
The Missouri Tigers struck first after kicker Harrison Mevis nailed a 36-yard field goal on the Tiger’s second drive. The scoring drive was set up following a 24-yard rush by Tiger quarterback Tyler Macon on the drive’s first third down.
The Bulldog offense responded to the Tiger scoring drive after Stetson Bennett was able to connect with Arian Smith in the corner of the endzone from 35-yards out. The play came on fourth down and capped off an 11-play, 75-yard drive giving the Bulldogs a 7-3 lead with 42 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Following a Tiger 3-and-out, Nolan Smith flies off the edge to block Tiger punter Grant Mckinnis’ kick. Dan Jackson lands on the ball but has it pop out in the back of the endzone giving the Bulldog’s a safety extending the lead to 9-3.
Georgia’s offense did not waste time taking a shot following the Tiger safety kick as Stetson Bennett connects with Jermaine Burton down the sideline for a 47-yard gain down to the Tiger 1 on the drive’s fourth play. Zamir White punches it in 2-plays later giving the Bulldog’s a 16-3 lead with just over 11 minutes remaining in the half.
In need of a response, Missouri cumulated a 7-play, 39-yard drive that was ultimately stopped on fourth down. Stetson Bennett connected with Kenny McIntosh who made an impressive one hand snag for 31-yards on the Bulldog’s first play following the Missouri turnover on downs. After stalling at the goal line, Jack Podlesny was called on for a 20-yard field goal giving the Bulldog’s a 19-3 lead with 5 minutes remaining in the half.
The Bulldog offense took over with 3 minutes remaining in the half looking for one more scoring drive following a Tiger punt. Following a 17-yard rush by James Cook and several successful passing plays, James Cook was able to punch the ball in from the 1-yard line after taking a direct snap to extend the Bulldog lead to 26-3 going into half.